The Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why recently came to an end. Find out what series star Dylan Minnette (Clay Jensen) thought about how the show wrapped up.
13 Reasons Why premiered its first season on Netflix in March 2017. It told the story of Hannah Baker, a high school student who had committed suicide. She left behind recorded tapes explaining her thirteen reasons why.
In the first episode, Hannah’s friend Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) comes into possession of the tapes. His life spirals from there, to the point where it is no longer recognisable. As well as Clay, other characters including Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro) and Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe) are also along for the ride.
Netflix released the final ten episodes of 13 Reasons Why on June 5, with the series coming to an end with its fourth season. To commemorate this, Dylan Minnette sat down with Entertainment Weekly to reflect on Clay Jensen and the series as a whole.
Minnette was asked how he felt about leaving Clay and the show behind. The 23-year-old Wallows frontman replied that Season 4 had been the most “difficult” to shoot because of how there was a “major event for Clay in every episode”. Additionally, Minnette also discussed how he’d wanted to see the character’s mental health explored in greater detail, ” [I ] said, “I want to see him in therapy in season 4, and I want to take a deep dive into how deep the mental struggles that Clay deals with, how deep they go.”
EW commented on how Clay was not “the glue holding everyone together” during Season 4.
Minnette responded, “Clay’s sort of the wild card this season. Everyone’s worried about what he’s going to do. And everything that he feels extreme guilt over throughout the course of the entire series is catching up to him and hitting him harder than it ever has.”
Throughout the fourth season, viewers were shown a flashforward which revealed that another Liberty High student had passed away. In the finale, that individual was revealed as Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn), a troubled jock who had become Clay’s foster brother.
Minnette revealed that despite Justin’s death being the “most devastating choice”, he and Flynn had pushed for it.
“I remember all season Brandon and I were specifically hoping that it would be Justin, and we were pushing for it and we would plead to Brian making the case of why we feel like it should be him, because he and I both felt that it would have the biggest emotional impact on the series given Justin’s entire arc.”
Speaking of Justin’s arc, Minnette also reflected on how far the now-foster brothers had come across four seasons.
“It feels really poetic because the biggest arc of a relationship that Clay has had in the show is with Justin. The first conversation you see Clay have with anyone in the very first episode is with Justin, and it’s actually Clay’s first lines of the show. They’re clearly enemies in season 1, and then it goes all the way to them loving each other more than anyone and becoming brothers and holding his hand on his deathbed”
Minnette concluded by comparing the final shot of the series (in which Clay drives off silently with Tony) to its counterpart in the first season.
“In the first episode there’s the same exact mirrored shot of Clay and Tony in the Mustang driving through town wordless. I remember reading that and being like, “I hope Brian intends for that to be the same shot as that one in the first episode,” and of course it was. I love that there was no big driving-away shot or music crescendo. It was just this wordless moment of them, yeah, exhaling and leaving town. And you see it on their faces. I love the way it ended.”
13 Reasons Why Season 4 is currently streaming on Netflix.
Follow writer Conor O’Brien on Twitter – @CourageousConor